Lisa Germano (born 1958) is a multi-instrumentalist dream pop singer/songwriter who has released seven albums featuring her distinctive violin and confessional lyrics. Her album Geek the Girl received widespread critical acclaim, including being featured as a top album of the 1990s by Spin Magazine. She is also known as a guest performer on over sixty records by a variety of artists, including Eels, John Mellencamp, Simple Minds, David Bowie, Sheryl Crow and Iggy Pop.
She made her professional debut as John Mellencamp’s violinist and fiddle player on his 1987 hit album The Lonesome Jubilee, spending the next seven years working with him. During this time, additional tours and recording sessions with Simple Minds and the Indigo Girls motivated Germano to do something on her own
At the age of 30, Germano issued her first solo album. The lo-fi On the Way Down From the Moon Palace was issued on her own Major Bill label in 1991, marking Germano’s proper introduction as a solo artist. While sales numbers were low, the album brought Germano to the attention of Capitol Records. However, when her album Happiness was released two years later, Germano was dissatisfied with her major-label deal and signed with Ivo Watts-Russell’s 4AD Records in 1994, reissuing a new version of the album.
Geek the Girl would also be released in 1994. The album earned Germano her biggest praise from the press to date, becoming a critical favorite and a noted album from the 1990s.
Excerpts From a Love Circus arrived in 1996, and received a fair amount of acclaim in publications ranging from independent-oriented magazines to Spin and Rolling Stone. Sales, however, were poor and after releasing Slide in 1998, Germano took some time off. Within months, she lost her deal with 4AD Records.
Germano was hired as member of a new The Smashing Pumpkins line-up in 1998 as violinist and backing vocalist, but left for undisclosed reasons before the tour began.
Germano moved to Hollywood, taking a small job at a book store. Songwriting, however, remained an integral part of her life, and she kept connected musically by collaborating with other artists such as David Bowie, Anna Waronker, Eels, and Neil Finn on their various projects. She also released two collections of songs from her back catalogue independently, Concentrated and Rare, Unusual or Just Bad Songs, both in 2002.
Germano inked a deal with the ARTISTdirect imprint Ineffable in 2002. She would release Lullaby for Liquid Pig on the label before the imprint would fold. In July 2006, In the Maybe World was released by Young God Records, a label owned by former Swans leader Michael Gira and in recent years home to such offbeat upstarts as Devendra Banhart and Angels of Light.